Clinton Campaign Fires Mark Penn, Chief Strategist

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Cleverboy, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. Cleverboy macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #1
    Okay, apparently this was a more frenetic and completely sucky weekend for the Clinton Campaign. This turn of events leaves my jaw open. Any shread of credibility remaining in her campaign after all the poor press lately, has been dealt another serious blow. How can a CHIEF STRATEGIST and the person most in charge of her campaign message TOTALLY SCREW-UP this badly?

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/04/clinton-chief-s.html
    This is pretty seriously beyond the pale. To have the person effectively putting words in your mouth, also be the strategist for a foreign government on the SPECIFIC ISSUE of trying to push an agenda you oppose... I mean... this is the stuff "dropping out of the race" is made of. Given there's been no love lost betwix Penn and Wolfson, I don't even think HE can claim to be happy about the affect this will have on her campaign's image.

    Her degree of campaign turn-over is leaving her prospect of running the country one that should frighten voters if track records are predictive.

    ~ CB
     
  2. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #2
    Rendell criticizes Penn, hints he should be fired
    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/04/06/rendell-criticizes-penn-hints-he-should-be-fired/
    Here's my question. Let's reverse roles.

    IMAGINE...
    Let's say... Obama was endorsed by the Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell. He campaigns in Pennsyvania, criticising a trade deal with Columbia. Then, it turns out that David Axelrod is consulting with the Columbians on the side, helping them push the same trade deal Obama has been criticising in an effort to gain union support. A glaring conflict of interest is pointed out by the media and the unions who are trying to rally support. Obama declares he had been told by Axelrod that there would be no conflicts of interest with Axelrod's other clients. The governor of Pennsylvania is forced to "hint" that Obama's cheif strategist should be fired. Axelrod, the primary message man for the Obama campaign since its beginning... steps down. The Pennsylvania primary is still over 2 weeks away.

    EDIT: NYTimes weighs in. This is a freakishly unflattering paragraph.
    Just... WOW. :eek: Why would Clinton continue retaining this guy, given 1.) his ineffective advice regarding her campaign message that seemed to constantly be seeking its "voice". 2.) the laundry list of troubling connections he'd refused to distance himself from? If nothing else, I think Clinton's campaign should even SUE him for gross incompetence, never-mind bad judgement (then again, appearances being what they are, that wouldn't look good even after the nomination is settled.)

    EDIT:

    I remember that Penn's fees earlier were upwards of 5 million dollars. If Clinton hires people like Penn to lead her campaign, what sort of errant judgements would she make forming her administration/presidential cabinet? He ends up coming out of this with millions of dollars, STILL having his company employed, and yet doing a horrendous job on her campaign message such that she's spent many months adjusting her message.

    ~ CB
     
  3. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #3
    He should have been fired long before this, but it was as good a reason as any I suppose.
     
  4. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    I can't see this as the mortal wound that may cause her to drop out of the race, as you suggest. However, it ain't good.

    There are at least three ways this can hurt her:
    1. It's an embarrassment at a critical time when she's struggling for voters.
    2. It's going to be difficult changing strategic horses mid-stream, so to speak.
    3. The judgment factor you mention could cost her some superdelegate votes who are sitting on the fence.
     
  5. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #5
    I'm beginning to think nothing will get her to drop out, even if she loses. :p

    True, but is anyone even paying attention enough to it to care?

    That might be a good thing, as so far they haven't been doing a very good job.

    That could hurt her if they are paying attention, especially since it took so long.
     
  6. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #6
    I know. It's not a "direct" blow to her candidacy, but it has undermined her stance on trade issues, influence and judgement ...and possibly comprise one more blow in a series of very bad news items. Think about it... this news hits Sunday. Hillary gets to spend this ENTIRE WEEK not ONLY losing her chief strategist (from the role), but she loses the weeks news cycle, and with few exceptions, no Monday morning counter-balance is going to offset this.

    I'm only thinking it rises to the level of "drop-out" (in the most extreme case), by its indirect affects. If Mark Penn represented the teeth behind the campaign (strongly advocating her "hawkish" approach, which I've always hated, instead of a more personable stance), then this knocks her campaign "toothless", reformulating her message, weeks before a highly important primary.

    The remaining star posts are Maggie Williams (replacement for Patty Solis and who's been criticised recently for her association with a subprime lender) and Howard Wolfson. Prior to Obama's Canadian issue (which still plays weakly due to lack of substance) and the "Monster" comment from an adviser, Obama hasn't had much turn-over, nevermind on this level. If Clinton ever has to lose Wolfson, it would almost be as if she rebuilt her campaign "boat" en route and arrived with a totally different ship when she reached the next port.

    R.I.P.

    Bill Shaheen (- Dec 2007), a national co-chairman - Suggested that Obama's past drug-use rendered Obama a substantially flawed candidate for President, until campaign sought to distance from such comments. Resigned. "It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?' " Shaheen told the Post. "There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome." But even after his apology last night and his subsequent resignation as the state co-chair to Hillary Clinton's campaign today the story isn't exactly over for Shaheen." - Boston.com

    Patti Solis Doyle (- Feb 2008), campaign manager - Blamed for overspending in Iowa, and originally on the chopping block before surprise NH victory. Stepped down. Accused by campaign of managing it "into a ditch". "She is the furthest thing from a Rove-like strategic genius (Mark Penn inhabits that role for Hillary), so her leaving doesn’t signify an impending change of strategy, as some reports seem to assume. " - The Atlantic

    Mark Penn (- April 2008), chief strategist - Consulted for Columbians on helping win support for trade law publically criticised by Clinton from the stump in appeal to union voters. Forced out. "Nope, what gets you kicked off Team Hillary is meeting with an ambassador of a U.S. ally to hear him out regarding a trade deal. Should Penn have informed Hillary he was doing so? Sure, and had she objected, he shouldn't have gone forward with the meeting. But in the catalog of bad moves by Penn, this was a ticky-tack foul, and it's revealing that now Hillary heeds the calls for his dismissal and accepts his resignation. If a faction outside the Clintons' inner circle can force her hand on Penn, then they can force her hand on departing the race... when the time is right." - National Review Online

    None of these were mamby-pamby "advisor" roles either. Were I a large donor/backer/fundraiser, I would be expecting a number of confidence building phone calls this week.

    ~ CB
     
  7. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #7
    Something I was reading recently about how extreme supporters of either candidates turn the others off.

    Inside Donna Brazile's BlackBerry

    I think that's even worse than the above.
     
  8. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #8
    I wonder if it was Penn's idea for her to lie about her experience in Bosnia.
     
  9. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #9
    I think that was all her.
     
  10. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #10
    Terry McAullife is engaging in some "kumbuya" apparently.

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/politics/blog/2008/04/clinton_man_has_obama_moment.html

    From what reports are saying, with Mark Penn gone, hopefully the Clinton campaign can losen up and become more natural and "folksy" like this. Who knows. Anything is possible I say. I think Penn's "experience" and "hawk" strategy really handed a lot of votes over to Obama. Then again, maybe it won her a lot of support too. Meh.

    ~ CB
     

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